Updated at 9:55 a.m. Feb. 14, 2013
Editor's note: County GOP Chairman Tony Krvaric reports: “Not one of the committee members bought in to [Karen Grube’s] conspiracy theories and I was re-elected unanimously.”
Calling him “corrupt” and “too Chicago-style politics for me,” a Carmel Mountain Ranch woman has launched an online effort to oust Tony Krvaric as leader of the San Diego County Republican Party
Karen Grube is behind a Facebook page titled Tony Krvaric, You’re Fired.
“Tony lost big time” in the Nov. 6 elections, Grube said Tuesday in a phone interview. “Over the past four years, we’ve had a chance” to improve the GOP standing here. “We blew it.”
Grube (pronounced GREW-bee) called herself “basically a Kennedy Democrat” who joined the Republican Party after growing disenchanted with the Democrats and President Obama, and has connections with the Tea Party movement.
She’s especially upset over Krvaric’s support of Carl DeMaio for San Diego mayor, accusing him of not vetting a gay candidate whose partner is accused of a criminal past and ties to the porn industry.
“I am appalled that Carl DeMaio was [endorsed by the GOP],” said Grube, 60, a paralegal and third-generation San Diegan. “He was a poor candidate.”
In June, Grube ran for the party’s Central Committee from the 77th Assembly District but didn’t finish in the top six needed for election. (She was 13th out of 17, with 4 percent of the vote.)
She said she cares very much about the county’s conservative roots, and “I’m not going to let this continue,” referring to Krvaric’s leadership. “We are not trusted [as a party]. And Tony is the reason we’re not trustworthy.”
Among many other things, Grube says Krvaric packs the Central Committee with his friends and finds ways to expel his adversaries. She says he’ll schedule Executive Committee meetings and not tell certain members, then arrange to have them boosted for lack of attendance.
She said he bought space on political mailers that endorsed his allies for the county Central Committee and made it appear that the GOP was backing these candidates.
“We need someone with a different approach—a more ethical” approach, she said.
For his part, Krvaric said: “We don’t comment on anonymous emails, Facebook pages, etc.”
But after being informed that Grube was behind the effort, he replied to an email query: “The committee is elected by registered Republicans voting in June of each even numbered year. Some candidates whose ideas are rejected by their fellow Republicans sometimes grow bitter and try to blame others for their failures. This is sad, but nothing new.”
Officers of the committee will be elected in December, he said.
Grube said she her effort to remove Krvaric “isn’t a personal attack” but an effort to “get better leadership.”
Asked who on the committee would have done a better job amid the Democratic sweep of the San Diego mayor’s office, county supervisor vacancy and the hard-fought 52nd Congressional District (Scott Peters over GOP incumbent Brian Bilbray), Grube noted the insular nature of the panel and the fear that members have about challenging Chairman Krvaric.
“They’re going along to get along,” she said of Central Committee members—some of whom might challenge Krvaric for the chairmanship if they felt they had some backing.
Her Facebook page is essentially 2 days old, she said, and had only 13 Likes as of 5 p.m. Tuesday. But she said like-minded Republicans have not “Liked” the page for fear of crossing Krvaric and becoming known.
“This is just too Chicago for me. It’s too corrupt,” Grube said. “I’m not trying to be personal about this. This is factual. I’m not making this stuff up.”
Grube noted a 39-page document she uploaded to Facebook that opens with a 2008 letter from Cliff and Laura Sumrall to fellow members of the Republican Party Central Committee.
“This complaint has been put together via great effort and was sent to you, not as a character assassination of our Chair, but as an alert to the erosion of the basic principal of fairness,” the letter says.
The memo alleges a series of due-process violations and “inappropriate conduct” by Krvaric, including overruling nominations of Central Committee candidates and choosing his own instead.
The committee has 66 members—six from each of the eight Assembly districts in the county and 18 ex-officio members [mainly office-holders] and alternates, according to the party’s website.
Grube also says she tried to interest other people in running for San Diego mayor—including retired congressman Duncan L. Hunter (father of the incumbent). She says Hunter told her was occupied with promoting his book and spending time with his grandchildren.
She says she also tried to get former state Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth and failed state Senate candidate George Plescia to run for mayor.
Grube says she’s alerting Tea Party Facebook pages and others to the fire-Tony page.
Her first of several reasons for removing Krvaric:
Out of 71 races in other than special districts, 42 of the candidates endorsed by the Republican Party of San Diego County lost! We practically handed the Democrats our County! How on Earth did we let Susan Davis beat Nick Popaditch, Marty Block beat George Plescia, and Sherri Lightner beat Ray Ellis? We even let the Democrats get a supermajority in both the State Senate and State Assembly! How could we let this happen?
“I have nothing to lose,” she said in a half-hour phone chat with Patch. “My intent is to help the Republican Party in San Diego.”